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The 2021 Dodge Durango and 2021 Kia Telluride are three-row SUVs that may have new car shoppers torn between. While they don’t have much in common on the exterior, they each have enough going for them to make them competitive with one another. Yet Consumer Reports has designated a clear winner in the 2021 Kia Telluride. Let’s look at why its ratings are so much better. 

A light-colored 2021 Kia Telluride splashing through water.
2021 Kia Telluride | Kia

The Telluride’s road test score is almost double the Durango’s

The 2021 Kia Telluride gets a 97 in its road test score, while the 2021 Dodge Durango only gets a 47. Key differences include routine and emergency handling. While routine handling in the 2021 Dodge Durango gets a 3/5, emergency handling gets a 2/5. The Dodge Durango’s max avoidance speed is 48 mph.

On the other hand, the 2021 Kia Telluride gets a 3/5 for routine handling and emergency handling gets a very good 4/5. The Kia Telluride’s max avoidance speed is 54 mph.

The Telluride’s headlights are also better, at a 4/5 to the Durango’s 3/5.

Both the 2021 Dodge Durango and 2021 Kia Telluride are comfortable – the Durango gets a fantastic 4/5 for its ride, and a 5/5 for noise. Front-seat comfort is a perfect 5/5, while rear-seat comfort is a 4/5. Third-row comfort is only a 3/5.

The 2021 Kia Telluride gets a fantastic 4/5 for its ride, as well as for noise. Front-seat comfort is very good, at a 4/5. Rear seat comfort gets a fantastic 5/5. Third row comfort is only a 1/5.

The 2021 Dodge Durango and 2021 Kia Telluride have safety features, but the Telluride has more

Consumer Reports recommends a slew of advanced safety features that car shoppers should consider. These include forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking at city and highway speeds, lane-keeping assistance, and lane departure warning. Consumer Reports also says that pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic warning are important to have. While rearview cameras are standard in all new cars, anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, and daytime running lights are other important features.

The 2021 Kia Telluride comes standard with everything that Consumer Reports recommends – except for automatic emergency braking for the highway, which isn’t available at all. 

The 2021 Dodge Durango comes with disappointingly few of the safety features that Consumer Reports recommends. Only rear-view camera, anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control are standard in the 2021 Dodge Durango. Everything else is optional, with the exception of pedestrian detection, which isn’t even available.

Safety ratings in the Telluride are better, too


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Both the IIHS and NHTSA have crash-tested the 2021 Kia Telluride. The IIHS gives it all good ratings. The NHTSA gives it five stars for everything except for the overall frontal-crash, overall frontal-crash on the driver side as well as passenger side, and the rollover rating. Each of these gets four stars. 

Crash-test ratings in the 2021 Dodge Durango aren’t perfect. While the moderate overlap, side crash and roof crush are good, the front small overlap on the driver side is only marginal. There are currently no front small overlap, passenger side ratings, or rear crash ratings. 

The NHTSA gives the 2021 Dodge Durango four stars for overall crash, overall frontal-crash, and overall frontal-crash on the driver and passenger sides four stars. Everything else gets five stars, except for the rollover ratings. The 2WD rollover rating is four stars, while the 4WD rating is just three stars. 

While the 2021 Dodge Durango and 2021 Kia Telluride each have a lot going for them, especially comfort, it’s clear that the 2021 Kia Telluride is the better vehicle. It combines a near-perfect road test score with excellent safety ratings and a plethora of safety features. If you’re in the market for a new three-row SUV, the Telluride is the better choice.